Dealer – Grotesque (New Music)

With a slow and steady, piece-by-piece reveal on social media accounts, “Crooked” was the world’s first official taste of Dealer. Before they’d even released a scrap of music, the band were picked up by Human Warfare and Stay Sick Recordings, who clearly saw the immediate potential of the (I hate to use the term, but it’s true) supergroup.

Diving headfirst into this new project, the quintet includes names from familiar places: Aidan Ellaz (Alpha Wolf), Alex Milovic (Northlane), David Wilder (Iconoclast), Josh Ang (Codeine King), and Joe Abikhair (Capture The Crown). Despite the obvious potential to gain clickbaity/viral attention through the band member names alone, Dealer have instead seemed to shun media so far, keeping their focus on the music alone and letting it speak on their behalf.

When the music’s this good, I don’t blame them. At just 2:16, debut single “Crooked” was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bite of savagery with memorable riffs and “oh shit” reaction inducing lyrical one-liners, seemed designed to inflict third degree burns. The fact it’s over way too soon and Dealer are relatively silent (aside from “Still listening? Want more?”) has seemingly amassed a thirsty mob waiting to see what happens next; showing up on comments clamouring for shows, merch, or a more substantial release from the five piece to dive into.

“You think you know and you think you know
how it feels to be abandoned and loathed by the others.”

With only promises of “Soon” as fanfare, Dealer today released second single “Grotesque” AND the good news of EP Soul Burn on the way (and MERCH). Soul Burn drops on 5th April and will feature the two released singles as well as four other unreleased (as yet) tracks, such as “Melancholy Oxidase” which includes a vocal feature by Travis Tabron of Varials.

I had the pleasure of hearing a rough demo of “Grotesque” last year, and the “Bleed with me!” pit call has stuck with me ever since. As has the bluntforce heaviness, the lyrical rhythms, and the ‘ouch’ desperation of “I felt the black dog say ‘You don’t need no money, cause suicide is free'”.

It’s no surprise to me that Dealer’s songs – these expressions of broken honesty with heart-wrenching heaviness and impressive instrumentation – are striking a nerve with listeners, coming across as a call for collaborative venting alongside anyone that’s wrestling with their own ‘black dog’ or been taken the wrong way. This isn’t vibing like a flashy ‘look at us’ project, especially since everything visual has Dealer buried in fog or darkness. It’s just fucking good music, and it’s a pleasure to see it take off.

Back Dealer by pre-ordering Soul Burn:


Kel Burch

Creator and caretaker of Depth Mag, Kel uses her superpowers of empathy, word-weaving, and feeling everything deeply, to immerse herself in music before returning to reality to write about her experience with it. [Loved the read? Shout Kel a latte.]

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